Sep 16, 2016

Headphone/amp combo

My hunt for quality headphones and a headphone amp has begun! I'm going to be running the record out from my Rega Brio R to the headphone amp, and my sources are a Rega RP1, a Yamaha CD-S300. and a Chromecast Audio. I don't know if this information is helpful to you, but keep in mind that I am not looking for a portable amp, and my headphones are going to stay right next to my listening chair. My budget is around $600 for both. I've been looking at the Beyerdynamics 880s, but this is my first time venturing into quality headphones. Should I spend more on the headphones than the amplification or about equal? My mind is telling me to spend 300 on a nice amp and 300 on a nice pair of cans, but my body is telling me to slow down. Also, should I go high or low impedance? I had planned on high impedance since I don't intend to use them anywhere other than at home with my amp. I have cheaper headphones for traveling. Any recommendations for headphones or amps? Thanks mates.
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FWIW, Were I to drop that kind of cash on cans/amp as of this moment I'd be ordering the objective 2 amp that's on drop here on Massdrop right now, and HIFIMAN HE400I faster than I can type this run-on sentence, then spending the leftovers on some new vinyl.
In my experience, and from what people have told me, high vs low impedance isn't all that important in terms of sound quality, but at that price range and the lack of portability that you want, you will be looking at high impedance headphones. Spending a little more on the headphone is what I recommend.
The rest is honestly just personal preference, what are you looking for in sound? Soundstage? Brightness? Highs? Bass? Mids? V-Shape?
Once you have decided on all of that, picking a headphone becomes much easier, it gives people a place to start looking.
RockySpunkHero
I listen to a lot of rock and roll, heavy metal, electronic music and hip hop, so I'm going to want a well rounded, clean bass. I also would really like a nice spacious soundstage. For the high end I just don't want anything too fatiguing.
ThePope
Sennheiser HD 650, can be found on amazon, they have a wider soundstage and more bass, but slightly less amazing, but still pretty good mid/high end than the highly praised HD 600. As for an amp, the Darkvoice 336SE that's here on massdrop for a great price, just fyi it can get rather hot. Out of the box it is an excellent amp, it will elevate the highs, and may open up the soundstage a bit while boosting bass, but you can later on buy other standalone tubes to put into it and you can influence the sound signature to your will, you'd just have to find out which tubes do what. The Darkvoice however does not come with a built in DAC, so you would just have to buy a cheap standalone DAC to fit your budget. OR hold off on a DAC (because while yes a DAC helps a lot in sound, it is never fully needed like an amp is) save up some money and get a good DAC.
Other recommendation is the HE-400i, with any sub $200 amp/dac combo, that headphone is planar magnetic and purrs like all planars do, but it is a bit pricey and will force you to get a cheaper amp/dac.
I know this is a lot, but I hope this helps.
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